Rental Car Roulette

CrzRsn

Mr. Fedewhatever
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2017 Jetta with 42k miles from Hertz. Was the only non Hyundai, non Kia in the Gold member, midsize or fullsize zones. Technically I should be eligible for Hertz President’s Circle from my Delta status, but that hasn’t been processed yet for whatever reason. Even then, apart from a lone 2 door JK Wrangler President’s Circle was just more of the same Korean shit boxes.
I don’t understand how VW made this and though “yes, this is good, sell it.” The ride is just atrocious. It feels harsher than my Fiesta which is notorious for having a terribe ride. It manages to shake laterally over bridge seams and I just don’t understand how they made that happen. The only vehicles I’ve driven to shake laterally over bumps hit head on are leafspring trucks with staggered shock setups (aka F150, Silverado 1500 etc).
The seats, still can’t adjust them into a comfortable position. When I got into the car, the driver’s seat was too low. Grabbed the front handle to get some height. Nope, unlike literally every other manual seat car, this one is the recline. Found the actual seat height adjustment, and it seems to only lift the rear of the seat. Pretty difficult to get the seat to an actual comfortable/usable position.
The infotainment system straight up dysfunctional. If you don’t have any music on your phone and connect it via USB, it gives you a “no media files found” message on the screen and doesn’t let you play anything else. At least other cars I’ve been in tell you “no media files found” but let you play podcasts or Pandora/Spotify unlike this VW. If you try to connect to Bluetooth while plugged into USB, it gives you a “bluetooth connection interrupted” error and will not play anything either. Go figure that one out. Took me half my drive from the airport to get A2DP working. All very simple to detect and correct error states that should have never made it out the door.

All in all, with the exception of the ride, can’t really say this is worse (or better) than the last Sonata I rented. Maybe if they had a Kona, I’d probably have taken that over this Jetta as it wasn’t this bad when I rented one a few months ago.
 
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93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
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2019 Ford Fiesta

It has 4,200 miles on it. I chose this over a Kia Soul purely to try something I haven’t driven yet. The first car I’ve driven where you have to breathe on the throttle to avoid spinning the front tires. I don’t know if it’s teansmission hearing, throttle mapping or what. Seems odd. Ride is ok, it’s not too soft or too hard. Steering is fine until you’re on the highway, it becomes so sensitive that even the slightest input causes a noticeable change which made me feel like I was over reacting trying to maintain staying on the road. At 70-75mph, you’re at 3,000rpm and there’s a quiet hum from the engine. Not terrible but it is noticeable. I imagine this was done to maintain enough torque for passing without needing to drop a gear. This has rear drum brakes which I’m going to attribute to the brake pedal feeling squishy.



Would I buy one? Probably not for a few reasons, Ford’s seatbelt/door open keys in the ignition chime is so annoying. Secondly, Fords placement of the infotainment display is distracting at night. Also, the passenger side wiper is noticebly resting up on the window. Not a big deal but can bug some people. Lastly, the photo below.





After clearing the window, these two spots let water run across the windscreen. It’s not important but it can be annoying for some.
 

narf

Sgt. Maj. Buzzkill
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I just had a week of the full Abarth experience :woot:


Epic colour scheme is epic. Fun road is fun.


:music: if Spinal Tap goes to 11, this is glued to 12. While the sport button does add a few more burbles on the overrun it's ALWAYS LOUD, exhaust valve closed or open from 4k.


Tiny car is tiny :lol:


Did I mention the full Abarth experience? Italian car is Italian.


The nutters managed to make an unreliable MX-5 :(


No-hassle replacement was procured, sadly with the most boring colour scheme ever.


STILL LOUD THOUGH.


Utterly practical 👏

Sport mode turned on in the middle, the occasional pfffffft is the exhaust value closing again.


Probably the best car for a week on twisty sunny road hooning. Probably one of the worst cars for daily driving 😢
Would definitely rent again, would not buy because it's impossible to live with: I can't really drive it with the roof up, and the engine drone would be unbearable in the long run.
 

CrzRsn

Mr. Fedewhatever
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Meanwhile I had a Ford Ecosport Titanium with the naturally aspirated 2.0L for my ski weekend in Colorado. For political reasons, probably shouldn't elaborate, but holy shit is it bad.
 

thomas

Grouchy Beemer Owner
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Meanwhile I had a Ford Ecosport Titanium with the naturally aspirated 2.0L for my ski weekend in Colorado. For political reasons, probably shouldn't elaborate, but holy shit is it bad.
I had that one as the 125hp 1.0 EcoBoost a few months ago... I feel your pain. I truly do. Aside from all things wrong with it: what's up with the fucking hump under the pedals?!?!!
 

CrzRsn

Mr. Fedewhatever
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Won roulette last night.

Selection in the Hertz President's Circle zone was pretty decent. Couple of convertible Camaros, a few Caddy CTSs, a selection of Intinitis (QX30, QX50, Q50), a Dodge Challenger STX, a Chysler 300S, but I picked this:



One of two Challenger R/Ts available. Picked this one because lolololol SRT bro Hellcat-wannabe splitter guards.

Only a 5.7L, but good god I think I'm in love. The sounds it makes are fantastic. I'm actually convinced that this car has an aftermarket exhaust on it, because its just too good at WOT, but drones like a motherfucker around 2000-2200 RPM. Generally you don't think of rental cars having mods like that on them, but my guess is that a previous renter got into a fender bender and they repaired the car using something like cheap Chinesium eBay Flowmaster knockoffs instead of pricey OE components.

https://streamable.com/5hod6

The rest of the car, about what you'd expect for base model FCA product, nothing special but nothing terrible. I did break Uconnect though, second FCA rental in a row where I fuck the system up. Plugged in my phone to use Carplay, everything worked fine, had Spotify and Waze working fine. Unplugged my phone to catch that video, plugged my phone back in and nothing. Carplay stopped working, Bluetooth connections didn't work, USB inputs didn't work and most other media related functions stopped working. Haven't tried plugging my phone in today yet to see if it reset overnight.
 
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93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
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I’ve had a couple RT challenger and chargers. They’re really good. It’s the insurance price that hurts. How’s visibility for you? :D
 

RdKetchup

Snow Mexican Surender Monkey
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My first time with a V8 powered rental :D
So, impressions after 4 days with the Charger...

Strongest feature is the noise of the engine. Every startup, every accelerations put a smile on my face.

The way it picks up speed effortlessly was also very nice.

Now the bad.

The ergonomics are atrocious! Wipers on the left stalk? TC and Sport mode buttons between the infotainment system and the AC controls? Who thought that was a good idea?

Handles like a boat, and seems to have very little traction.

I got an average of 14 MPG over the course of my rental, not bad considering I get 16 from my Focus (in worst condition I must admit).

Still want a V8 in my life, but a Charger is not it. I would still pick it for a work paid rental over anything else I got so far.
 

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
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Heh, yeah charger or challengers are the best rental cars I’ve had so far. On the plus, the infotainment has a physical “screen off” button and the ability to switch off auto play with your phone or MP3 player.
 

Nabster

Has Slutty Mustangs
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Meanwhile, I just got back from a work trip down to Miami. My rental was a 2019 Camaro with 164 miles on the clock.



It had some sort of V6, I assume, but it mostly sounded like someone was using their mouth to imitate what they thought a sports car should sound like. Noticeable and unpleasant delay between pressing the throttle and receiving oomph, even in sport mode.

Inside, visibility wasn't as terrible as I expected. The rear windhsield is small, obviously but it wasn't unusable. It would be better if there was more though. There were other more pressing usability issues though. The most annoying was the layout on the drivers door armrest area. To start, just resting my arm in the natural position left my hand with nowhere to rest properly, there's a little metallic look trim bit that cuts across at the front of the arm rest area right where my hand is so I have no choice but to hang it off rather than just rest it naturally.



So, under where your hand rests there you have some buttons. For the wing mirror controls. Multiple times I went to use the windows and was hitting the mirror control buttons. The actual window controls are further back, in fact back far enough to use them I had to wedge my elbow between the seat and door panel and sort of crook my hand under to reach them. As if that user interface wasn't poor enough, the buttons are designed with what I can only describe as primarily one touch up and down. There's an incredibly small point of activation where you can manually control the height adjustment before it clicks into one touch up/down, to the point I wasn't really able to manually control it. I would go back and forth with the one touch operation going full up and full down 4-5 times each before giving up.



HVAC controls were odd, you had to twist the silver bezel around the vent openings to change the temperature and fan speeds. The volume knob was almost funny in its small size just below the center console screen which was for some reason also noticeably angled down and not actually facing toward the faces of whomever would be using them. Weird. Audio system was also quite disappointing. Interior full of boring bad plastic.

Stolen press photo:


I realize my American sporty car base of comparison is perhaps a bit skewed given my daily driver, but if this is what you get in a base model Camaro they still have a long way to go to catch up.

2 out of 5 stars. It's a car with sporty looks and an interestingly attractive bulging hood as viewed from the driver seat, but interior quality is nothing worth mentioning, and the user interface is not something I would like to live with. Overall it seems like this is the equivalent of a midrange kitchen appliance in fingerprint resistant stainless steel- attractive and usable, but not something a gourmet would be impressed by.
 
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